Squirrels can be hunt using different weapons: bows, rifles, shotguns, air rifles, pistols and so on. We already dealt with the first one (which is rather unconventional) in the bow hunting section, so the other squirrel hunting guns will be presented in this article.
They all are widely used by hunters all over the country. While rifles can be of different calibers or cartridges (the most appropriate for squirrel hunting being the .22 rifle), shotguns are faster and have a greater impact. Air rifles are cheap, accurate, and quite silent when shooting, in comparison with pistols, which are not.
Squirrel hunting rifles are various and complex. There are a lot of brands which have a variety of such rifles, offering great accuracy and precision, easy handling and a nice finish. Prices may vary, as they start from affordable up to pros, which are more expensive. The most popular squirrel hunting rifle is the .22 caliber firearm. Many hunters use this type of rifle thanks to its high accuracy, wide range and ability to shoot from great distances. The size of the cartridge diminishes the impact the bullet has on the meat. There are many companies which designed different .22 rifles, so there is a variety of rifles at your disposal.
Using a rifle in hunting brings a lot of advantages, in comparison to the other types of weapons, in the sense that it is specially designed for such things, having improved components or features which prove to be extremely helpful for the shooter.
The shotgun is another squirrel hunting gun. Its usage increases the speed, but lowers the distance of the shooting. It destroys many important parts of the squirrel's body, such as bones or important blood veins, leading to a quick death. Despite the fact that shotguns are quite loud, the impact they have on the squirrel is so great, that even though they are just wounded, they will probably be dizzy and unable to properly climb a tree or hide.
These guns must be fired from the shoulder and may sometimes prove hard to handle. Also, as the velocity of the ammunition is quite low, the hunter must be very careful with the number of shots being fired, in order to kill his prey efficiently. These reduce even more the time when the animal is in pain. The typical is the 12 gauge shotgun. As a disadvantage, in some areas hunting shotguns are prohibited, but they can be used after having been added barrels.
Squirrel hunting with air rifles is preferred as they are based on a compressed air system, which does not have such a great impact on the animals, keeping them intact after having been shot. Besides the fact that air rifles are cheap, the ammunition is less expensive as well. The most popular are pellets (which are hollow inside and made from plastic composite – no matter how high the speed may be, they will not cause as much damage as burning propellant does) and BB, made of a mixture of steel with copper or zinc.
They have less variants of caliber, but they are easy to handle and can be purchased at far lower prices than rifles or shotguns. They are very precise, but attention is recommended, as one of the unwritten rules in hunting is to give the animals a quick and painless death.
Pistols are not only easier to carry, but also easy to handle, being sport weapons. You can attract squirrels as close to you as possible, having the advantage of low interference of the environment with your trajectory and aiming is guaranteed. Although they do not have a high velocity and need to be gauged before every shot, handguns are light and much easier to maneuver than long guns. While hunters’ skills really make a difference when using a rifle, pistols help every amateur take his shot.
In comparison to rifles, pistols have a smaller recoil effect. They also require certain aspects, such as being on a steady position when shooting. They are quite accurate and can also be added scope mounts.
Each of the above mentioned weapons comes to complete the hunters’ skills when shooting squirrels. A good hunter must first become familiar with the squirrels’ behavior and habitat and then be ready to aim one. With a clear shot from the gun that most fits you, the squirrel will have a humane and quick death, and you will achieve your goal!